John Lewis to trial virtual reality experience

John Lewis & Partners is set to trial a new virtual reality experience in three shops called ‘Visualise Your Space’ to enable customers to visualise new products in their homes before they buy.

Customers will be able to put the dimensions, doors and windows of the room they want to update into an iPad via an app, and then ‘drop in’ John Lewis products. They will also be able to change the colour of the walls and floors to create a complete look.

Users will be able to view their designed room on either an iPad as a 3D room set in augmented reality, or wear a virtual reality headset to ‘walk around’ the room.  Afterwards customers will be emailed a copy of the room they have created with shoppable links.

The trial will begins at the department store group’s Kingston shop on June 26, followed by Cambridge on June 28, and Horsham on July 2.

John Lewis & Partners head of buying for furniture and flooring Caitlin Price said; “Designing a new look for a room can be a lot of fun and a chance to express our personality. However, customers tell us that uncertainty about how new products will look in their homes can make decision-making hard, and in many cases they revert to the safer tones of grey or beige furnishings.

“This new technology will enable customers to be braver in their choices, and test technology that architects and interior designers have been using to visualise their designs.”

The technology has been developed by the US design and 3D visualisation company Marxent. Beck Besecker, ceo and co-founder of Marxent, said: “John Lewis understands how important inspiration is to modern furniture shoppers and has an impressive history of innovation. We’re proud to be partnering with them to test this technology in the UK.”

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